Former treasurer of Derry church accused of stealing $20K
A Salem Township woman was arrested Thursday on allegations that she stole $20,000 from a Derry Borough church where she worked.
Teri E. Sauers, 35, was arraigned on charges of theft and receiving stolen property filed by Westmoreland County Detective Will Brown. District Judge Mark Bilik released Sauers on recognizance bond.
Sauers, former treasurer of Derry Presbyterian Church, wrote 17 checks to herself from church accounts between February 2017 and November 2018, when the thefts were discovered by church officials, Brown reported in court documents.
“The theft was discovered by church officers upon hearing that a church treasury account did not have enough assets to pay a balance of $14,850 owed on a new boiler system that was recently installed in the church,” Brown wrote.
Church officials reviewed checks drawn on the account and saw multiple checks that were made payable to Teri Sauers, Brown said. Only one signature of a church officer was required on the account, he added.
“Sauers was the only church officer to have access to the general fund checking account,” Brown said.
Sauers admitted the thefts to investigators and reported that she had repaid $14,500 to the church, Brown said.
“Sauers proceeded to inform me that she had lost another position and money was tight. She added that she needed money to pay her bills,” Brown wrote. “Ms. Sauers informed me she was sorry for stealing the money and was sick about it.”
Brown said that Sauers indicated she hopes to repay the remainder of the money within a year.
Sauers did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Bilik scheduled a preliminary hearing for May 8.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .